Dent de Marcoule and Château de Gicon

Starting from Chusclan, this is a hike over different types of terrain (tarmacked paths between vineyards, DFCI trails, single-track paths, etc.). Viewpoints over the Rhone Valley and Mont Ventoux. Visit to the medieval site of Gicon.

Technical sheet
No. 215101
A Chusclan walk posted on 25/02/16 by Papatte. Update : 21/01/17
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h15[?]
Distance Distance : 15.07km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 406m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 400m
Highest point Highest point : 223m
Lowest point Lowest point : 36m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Chusclan (30200)
Starting point Starting point : N 44.15169° / E 4.677217°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 3040OT
Download : -

Description

Park in the Chusclan social-cultural centre's car park.

(D/A) Take the 'Chemin des Rogations' eastwards. Go straight on, passing in front of the cemetery, until you reach a T-junction.

(1) Continue on the path opposite which bends 90° to the left and meets up with a crossroads where you need to turn right.

(2) In a wide bend to the right, take the path on the left which heads into the woods in the direction of 'Dent de Marcoule'. At the crossroads with the sign "Pierredon 111m", continue heading straight on in the direction of Dent de Marcoule.

(3) At the crossroads, take the path on the left which zigzags through the rocks (this section of the path does not appear on the IGN map, but it does exist). Coming out of the path through the undergrowth, you will end up at a crossroads of paths. Take the path on the right which leads to Dent de Marcoule. Leave Dent de Marcoule (antennae) in a northerly direction and continue on the path up to the first 90° bend to the left.

(4) Leave the path and take the path through the undergrowth which goes downhill on the right and ends up at a crossroads. Take the path on the left and keep going straight on, staying on the main path, until you reach a crossroads with a tarmacked path (sign DFCI-M13) which comes from the left.

(5) Turn right onto the GR42 (waymarking in White and Red) which goes down into the woods to the right towards Vénéjan/Château du Jonquier, ignoring the path opposite which leads to Vénéjan/Gicon.

(6) Around one hundred metres further on, leave the GR42 and turn left (there is a field on the left and bushes on the right), then take the path through the undergrowth on the right in the direction of Vénéjan/Saint-Etienne des Sorts/Fontaine du Renard. Go alongside the vineyard and then continue on the tarmac opposite, where you will be back on the GR42.

(7) Under the EDF cable, take the path on the left and follow alongside the vines until you reach a tarmacked path. You will now see the Châteaux of Gicon and Jonquier opposite you. Go downhill to the right via the tarmacked path and ignore another path on the left a little after.

(8) Leave the tarmacked path and take the path on the left in the direction of Gicon/La Mascadière and Vénéjan. Follow this path straight ahead up to the summit of the hill. After a brief section through undergrowth, turn right in the direction of Vénajan/Gicon/Gicon Farm, going alongside the vines until you return to tarmac.
Take the tarmacked path to the right for about 80m and then go along the vines. When the path alongside the vineyard comes to an end, return to the tarmacked path, veering to the right and follow it until you reach Gicon farm.

(9) This is a perfect location to stop for a lunch break. When you leave, take the path which heads off behind the farm in a south-west direction. At the summit of the hill, take the small steps to the right which lead to the chapel. Go around the chapel and take the path, which starts from a "filtering" gate, to then reach the site of the ruined Gicon château. Next head back downhill from the château via the path on the north side.

At the crossroads of 5 paths, take the one on the left up to the vines. When the path meets the vines, leave it and go along the vines to the left - at first, going along the path and then going down between the woods and the vines. After about 60m, you will cross a second path, but don't take it. The Gicon Château should be on your left. You will see a White arrow on the ground going in the opposite direction.

(10) At the corner of the vineyard, take the small single-track path opposite which is waymarked in Yellow (White cross on the ground). On coming out of the path, take the path on the left and re-join the DFCI via a Green gate (sign DFCI-M15).

(11) Don't take this path, instead branch off onto the path on the right in the direction of 'Point de Vue' (viewpoint) - this path is not shown on the IGN map. At the second bend on the left where there are some small gates (on the right), take the furrowed path that goes up to the right, leaving the large path to the left. At the lookout, go back down by going alongside the vines to the right.

(12) At the end of the vines, take the path through the undergrowth which goes alongside the road (this path is not on the IGN map). On coming out of the path, go down the road on the right for 60m (you will see a DFCI-M15 path), then take the path going up to the right (Yellow cross on the ground on the road). After 200m, take the left-hand path at the crow's foot junction and go alongside the vines.

(13) On arriving at some large pine trees, go down between the vines on the left - you will see the 'Camp de César' opposite.

(14) Coming out of the vines (sign: Vigne des Sens/les couleurs de la vigne - 'Vines of the Senses/the colours of the vines'), follow the path with Yellow waymarking through the undergrowth which goes between tables and blocks of rock. The small path meets a wider path, take the path opposite that goes downhill and then continue to descend on the road to the right (sign: Vigne des Sens).

(15) At the Moure de Gorge crossroads, take the road on the left towards Chusclan.

(16) At the entry sign to Chusclan, turn right and then left and go straight on, going behind the cultural centre which you need to go around from the back to return to the car park (D/A).

I dedicate this hike to Robert, who inspired me for a large part of this route.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.69 - alt. km 0.69 - T-junction, opposite.
2 : km 1.64 - alt. km 1.64 - Granges 70m.
3 : km 2.26 - alt. km 2.26 - Crossroads, take the left.
4 : km 3.27 - alt. km 3.27 - Leave the track, take the path on the right.
5 : km 5.6 - alt. km 5.6 - Crossroads, turn right onto the GR42.
6 : km 5.73 - alt. km 5.73 - Leave the GR, take the left.
7 : km 6.69 - alt. km 6.69 - EDF cable, take the path on the left.
8 : km 7.23 - alt. km 7.23 - Bois de la Rouvière, take the left.
9 : km 8.82 - alt. km 8.82 - Gicon farm.
10 : km 10.37 - alt. km 10.37 - Corner of the vines, take the path opposite.
11 : km 10.74 - alt. km 10.74 - Gicon, 146m, take the path to the right.
12 : km 11.36 - alt. km 11.36 - End of the vines, take the path to the right.
13 : km 12.35 - alt. km 12.35 - Large pine trees, head down to the left.
14 : km 12.48 - alt. km 12.48 - "Mini" Menhirs (standing stones).
15 : km 13.06 - alt. km 13.06 - Moure de Gorge, take the road to the left.
16 : km 13.43 - alt. km 13.43 - Chusclan sign, take the right.
D/A : km 15.07 - alt. km 15.07

Useful Information

Location:
Chusclan village in the Gard (30200)
Between Bagnols sur Cèze (13 min) and Avignon (33 min)
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Country: France
on Google Maps

During the wild boar hunting season (September - February inclusive), avoid the hunt days: Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. As a precaution, ask at the Town Hall for the exact hunt dates.

The Gicon farm is the ideal spot for a lunch break. There are tables and benches and it's sheltered from the elements. Access is free except if it has been reserved in advance by an association. Even if this is the case though, there is a beautiful clearing nearby.
Important: although the shelter is equipped with a corner fireplace, fires are fobidden (in the summer months).
The site is equipped with bins.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3040OT.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

From the Dent de Marcoule: viewpoint over the Rhone Valley and Mont Ventoux opposite, and also the Marcoule nuclear power plant which you overlook.
View of Château du Jonquier.
(13) view of the Camp de César plateau (Roman remains) opposite, and the valley on the other side.
Gicon farm. Location used by hunters. Ideal for a break.
Gicon Chapel.
Ruins of Château de Gicon, undergoing restoration. Panoramic orientation table.
View over Camp de César (above Laudun), Roman archaeological site above the village of Laudun (which is also a good location for beautiful walks).

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.